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The situation in Northern Syria remains as volatile as ever, with the Syrian Arab Army exchanging fire with militants in the Idlib governorate.
On June 20, five munitions fired from the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib by militants hit the government-held town of Jurin in the al-Ghab Plains in the northwestern countryside of Hama.
The munitions landed in residential areas killing a little girl and wounding her brother.
The government forces’ response to the ceasefire violation came fast.
Since the morning of June 21, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been shelling Turkish-backed armed opposition groups.
Several casualties were reported, including one commander of the National Liberation Front (NLF).
The SAA artillery targeted the suburbs of the towns of al-Bara, Ehsim, Kansafra, Mashoun and Fleifel, in the Zawiya Mountain area.
The shelling resulted in the killing of at least 2 fighters of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and 5 NLF members.
The shelling of Syrian government forces was reportedly conducted with air support by Russian warplanes and drones which were spotted over the countryside of Idlib, Hama and Latakia, without conducting any air strikes.
The exchange of fire continues.
The SAA reportedly shelled the militant positions in the vicinity of the city of Ariha, in the localities of al-Bara, Kansafra, Ihsim, and Khirbat al-Naqus.
Meanwhile, militants have continued their attacks on the villages and towns in Hama countryside. From their positions in al-Sarmanieh village on the northwestern al-Ghab plain, they again shelled civilian settlements in Jourin town.
Amid the ongoing escalation, the Syrian state outlet SANA reported that HTS is preparing to stage an attack with chemical agents in Syria’s Idlib and Hama provinces.
According to the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the HTS terrorists, together with assistance from the White Helmets ‘rescue organizations’ are making preparations to stage a chemical attack.
According to the Foreign Ministry, barrels with poisonous substances have recently been delivered through the border settlement of Bab Al-Hawa to the settlement of Atma, where a chemical factory is located.
Turkey is yet to undertake any moves to respond to the SAA shelling on Idlib groups that it backs.
This is likely because its hands are busy with northeastern Syria, and dealing with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to the SDF, on June 22, Turkish forces and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) fired rockets at the positions of the Kurdish forces in the northwestern part of the Manbij district.
Turkish artillery struck the Rafiyah and Hawshariyah areas; clashes were reported on the fronts of Tukhar al-Saghir, Muhsanli, Arab Hassan, Hamran, and Yalishli. 3 SDF fighters were reportedly wounded in Rafiyah.
The SDF’s Manbij Military Council announced that the Turkish army had previously shelled al-Sayyadah, al-Dandaniyah, al-Jamousiyah, and al-Farat villages with mortars fired from their bases in Sheikh Nasr and al-Yalishli villages, causing damage to civilian properties.
Meanwhile, the SDF is also carrying out an operation in Deir Ezzor, besieging the town of Al-Busairah in the eastern countryside of the city, with the aerial support of the U.S.-led International Coalition’s helicopters.
Local sources from the town stated that SDF gunmen had imposed a security cordon around the city, preventing entry and exit.
Northern Syria is in a constant state of chaos, in a sort of free-for-all, with each side mostly fighting the others.